Some tactics I find useful for improving the time and speed at which I fall asleep:
- Meditating before bed. Doing it well before bed time helps you to relax, to refocus, and to follow through on the rest of these tactics. Doing it after you crawl into bed makes it that much easier to nod off.
- Ice packs, ice baths, and otherwise cooling yourself down.
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and the like for at least a few hours before bed. The longer the better. If possible, cut caffeine of your diet entirely. The improvements to your sleep may render the drug unnecessary.
- Avoiding yellow light for at least a couple of hours before bed. Tinted shades help a lot here since our modern world is inundated with blue light.
- Avoiding screens for at least a couple of hours before bed. This applies to the blue light from screens and to the ease with which engrossing and/or infuriating games and videos can hold our attention well past when we meant to sleep.
- Reading relaxing, even boring books ahead of bed. Too engrossing and you may stay up late reading. Technical books full of dry details are perfect for the task.
- Keeping your bedroom as dark as possible after getting under the covers. Cover up all those obnoxious LEDs if you can.
- Finishing up all of your most important tasks well before bedtime (like I should have done with this blog post). Bonus points: Write out a checklist containing only what must be done before going to bed. Even if there’s more you “could” or “should” do, having that checklist cleared off will help your subconscious accept the need for rest.
Hope those tactics help! And time to follow my own advice.